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Rodney J. Williams
171 articles


November 8, 2019 · in Aviation · · 8 ≡

I built a Scale P-51D for a client and he wanted everything scratch-built just like the real aircraft. Here are some of the 100 or more photos.

The "Dallas" canopy was raised up a bit higher than the regular canopy so I just added more "Plaster of Paris" to the first plaster cast. I just sanded it and then made a new plaster cast which looked like the photo that my client sent.

I added lot's of home made parts to the wheel well's and to the cockpit area. Then I got the bright idea to glue the windscreen to the fuselage area then cut it away from the model. It was sanded smooth and then I made a plaster mold and vac-u-formed a new piece which was sanded down to 2000grit and polish out with my "Blue Magic."
After the cockpit was finish and the two halves of the fuselage were glued together I just dropped in the new windscreen section that had been painted on the inside. This was the first time that I ever did any building like this.

I revised the kits drop tanks and built the new elongated one's. I had a fellow modeler cast both tanks, then he made some cast resin copies.

The landing gears were another adventure for me. I took photo's of a real Mustang at our airport in San Jose, CA, then measured everything. I made drawing's at home, then began making all the "master" parts out of brass and copper which I bought over at the local hobby shop. I found a "jeweler" who would cast the parts in brass, but he was very expensive; (USD$150.00). That was costly, but I was getting nearly 10 grand for the model so 150 bucks was next to nothing.

I met the client at the IPMS/USA show in Omaha, or maybe it was Kansas City. The model took a first place award so me and my client were happy. Enjoy! RJW

Reader reactions:
12  Awesome

14 additional images. Click to enlarge.

8 responses

  1. This is the MOST IMPRESSIVE MODEL IVE EVER SEEN. I cannot beleive you managed that much detail, even though it is 1/24. Are you sure you didnt just shrink down the real plane? Or take photos if it? Just kidding, lol.

    • My 1/24th scale P-51B conversion from the P-51D kit will blow your socks off as we say here in America. Please go to ( ) as I have 82 "in progress" stories on their web site. After you get on the home page, "I THINK" you click on Articles, then on model builds. You have to scroll down about 1/3rd of the way until you see my name next to a model, then you click on it. You scroll down to the bottom of that story and you see the box that says more stories by this modeler and click on it and up comes all 80+ stories.

      There were over 2,500 models on the list, the last time I got on it.

  2. Amazing work, Rodney. Let's say the commissioner got what he asked for 100x over!

  3. Rodney Williams is a legend in IPMS Region 9, where he set the standard for years; his scratchbuilt models were simply awesome. Rodney's award-winning models also made him some big bucks, although, if the hourly rate was ever figured out, he probably worked for pennies. We truly miss Rodney here in California, but, in a selfish way, some may be glad he has moved, so that they now have a chance at winning at contests.

    It's great seeing your stuff, Rodney. We miss you, too!

    • Marvin:

      Me too!...I miss the good old days when I lived in San Jose (1979-2004) and especially after I joined the club in San Jose in 1984...and learned to go to lots of contest. My wife went with me to Fresno a couple of times.

      I surprised our San Jose club in 2012 when I came back form Colorado and showed up, then took a few awards home.

      The old saying was: "Some one has to win the awards, so why can't it be me!"


  4. Hi Rodney, how did you make these tiny dots where screws were on the canopy? You use a needle for that?

    • I used my pin vise that had the sharp pointed needle in it. You have to be very careful and not shove the needle in to far as you can crack the vac-u-formed plastic. Once you do that, you have to remove the "vac" part and put in a new one...Remember the word..."Experiment."

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